Arizona State University is recognizing businesses that have played a part in bolstering the state’s economy with the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W.P. Carey School of Business. The university announced ten finalists and will reveal the winners later this year.
The awards recognize excellence in customer service, innovation and community impact in addition to economic success. Previous winners have included companies like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (also known as Discount Cab).
“These are individuals and partners who decided they would take a different road, put their livelihood on the line, and create a place where they not only provide value to a market, but also employ hundreds of individuals who can now prosper because of their risk taking and hard work,“ Sidnee Peck, management lecturer and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, said.
As the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards grow, so does the diversity of business included in the competition, Peck said.
“Each class of Spirit finalists is unique, but across the board they are selected for this award because they have a compelling story to tell,” Peck said.
Here’s some background on a few of the finalists.
- Endless Entertainment- We profiled Endless Entertainment last year when they were named one of the “Coolest College Startups in America” by Inc. Magazine. The company offers event planning services out of its Tempe office.
- IO- This Phoenix-based data center firm is also a finalist in the 2014 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards. When asked about the presence of the finalists in the community, Peck pointed to IO as an Arizona “company that is making a global impact” by focusing on energy efficiency in their data centers.
- Force Impact Technologies– A finalist in the Student Entrepreneurship category, Force Impact’s premier product is FITGuard, a mouthguard that can detect head injuries. The company featured its work at Tech Crunch Disrupt 2014 and is currently preparing to launch an Indiegogo funding campaign.
- I-ology- This Scottsdale-based web design and web application development company was founded in 1998. It offers wide array of benefits, including stock options and revenue sharing, to its employees.
- PetSitnStay– Also a Student Entrepreneurship finalist, this startup helps connect pet owners with pet sitter across the state.
- Other finalists include: Clean Air Cab, Ersland Touch Landscape, India Plaza/the Dhaba, the James Agency, Kitchell, Melrose Pharmacy and Potter’s House Apothecary.
The winners will be announced Nov. 21 at a luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix. In addition to the award ceremony, the event will also feature a workshop by W.P. Carey School faculty aimed at helping attendees find ways to grow their business.
You can learn more about the Spirit of Enterprise Awards or register for the event here. Let us know on social media or here in the comments who you think might win this year.
Photo provided by ASU.